Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump's Foreign Policy?



Millions of Americans are tired of being ignored and want radical change.

Regarded as an outsider in his own party – will Trump be able to implement his foreign policy approach? RT asks professor emeritus at Princeton University, contributing editor at The Nation magazine, Stephen Cohen.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

BIW Advent Vigil Schedule


 
Standing together in hope of peace through a joyous revolution we hold the Advent Vigil for Disarmament at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine.
 
We will stand across from the BIW administration building on Washington Street in Bath from 11:30 am til 12:30 on the four Saturdays of Advent: November 26, December 3, 10 & 17.
 
We will hold signs calling for the end of the building of weapons of mass destruction by General Dynamics here in Maine.
 
We stand in opposition to the continued production of the Arleigh Burke class of Aegis Destroyers and the new [highly expensive] Zumwalt Destroyers.  These are guided missile warships that are nuclear capable.
 
We stand for hope that mandates that the madness of Theatre Missile Defense and other military offensive operations will end.  We stand so the conversion of BIW to peaceful purposes becomes a reality.
 
If you can, please stand with us as we vigil in hope for peace through disarmament on these four Saturdays anticipating this season of joy!
 
Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm
763-4062

The Corporate Media Made Trump



Afshin Rattansi goes underground on the US election results. Author and documentary filmmaker John Pilger tells us what has been revealed by Trump winning the US election, plus what does a Donald Trump presidency mean for the Middle East.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump: Who Really Knows?


It was a late night at our house.  It would be an understatement to say I was surprised that Trump pulled off a massive victory in the election.  I surely didn't see this coming.

I figured that with the mainstream media support for Clinton and the support from the banksters, the neo-cons, the military industrial complex and the oil companies it was a certainty that Trump would go down to defeat. 

Obviously the white working class is angry and feels betrayed by the elites who run the country.  I heard that half of the union workers in Michigan (traditionally 'loyal' Democrats) voted for Trump.  But normal is gone now.  Many of these voters who picked Trump told the exit polls that they didn't necessarily like him - but they just saw voting for him as the only way to shake things up.  How much patience will they have for Trump in the White House?  That will be an interesting thing to watch.

Trump has named corrupt New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as his transition manager.  Christie is a mobster and the rumors have long tied Trump to the mob.  Clinton is corrupt as well and I see her as a key spokesperson for the corporate mafia.  So this election was really the mob verses the mafia.

Studying the situation in Ukraine during the last couple of years has taught me a lot about how competing criminal oligarchies can control and tear down a nation.  That is basically what I see we had in this election.  There was division among ruling oligarchies here in the US - again the mob verses the mafia.

The Democrats blew their chance for power when they threw Bernie Sanders under the bus during the primary season where the Clinton campaign repeatedly cheated in order to take the nomination.  Those 'loyal' Dems who refused to see the folly of this strategy are now in funeral mourning mode as they witness a damn near complete collapse of their party across the nation as the much hated Clinton ran them into the ground.

Democrats can blame others all they want for this loss but until they face up to the reality that the voters have rejected their corporate dominated Clinton machine their party stands little chance of a real future.

The Trump strategy was to go hard after voters in the 'rust belt' of the nation. Those living in the decaying former industrial heartland that is now virtually jobless had nothing to lose.  Trump promised jobs and strongly opposed the disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP that the Clinton machine has long endorsed.

The truth is that for eight years the Obama administration did little to help create jobs in devastated regions like the rust belt and in impoverished communities across the country.  He, along with the Republican party, kept the Bush endless war cycle going which drained the treasury of resources that could have been used for rebuilding our nation.  Dems don’t want to talk about this but it is a major reason for the eventual rejection of Clinton who is an avowed war monger.

This was a 'populist' victory. Last night on the right-wing Fox News TV we saw conservatives saying that this was not a victory for the Republican Party but was indeed a 'populist' wave.  The Democrats had a chance to match and beat Trump with the populism coming from Bernie Sanders but after the Clinton machine dispatched the Vermont senator that opportunity was out the window.

This morning we listened closely to some of Trump's words on the radio where he said he wanted to bring the nation together after his divisive 'wrestling match' campaign.  We'll see how that goes.  He also said he wanted to get along with all countries around the world.  During his campaign Trump did repeatedly say he wanted to talk with Russia and he questioned whether the US should be spending so much on NATO.  It will be instructive to see how he handles the war mongers inside the Congress from both the Republican and Democrat parties.

Will Trump continue the major US-NATO mobilization along the Russian border?  Will he continue to build Poland as the key US power projection hub in eastern Europe - just as Israel is the US base of operations in the Middle East and Japan serves that role in the Asia-Pacific?  Will Trump continue to destabilize Ukraine and use it as a bludgeon against Russia?  These are the things to closely watch.

Trump has no real experience as an office holder to prepare him for this task.  He notoriously has a short attention span.  Those who have his ear will be directing US domestic and foreign policy.

We in the progressive community had best spend some time reaching out to allies and building a unified coalition to stand against the coming reactionary wave.  We would be wise not to demonize those who voted for Trump - especially considering that many of them are working class union members who were primarily voting for jobs and against corporate elites.

We need to be offering a positive transformative vision for the future - ending our wars, closing our nearly 1,000 foreign military bases and bringing the troops home to rebuild America with sustainable technologies that help us deal with the coming reality of climate change.

No matter how you might have voted yesterday we should all recognize that we have a common enemy - corrupt corporate elites who don't give a damn about working people in the US or around the world.  This election is a call for everyone to get engaged in order to take our nation back from those on Wall Street who only live for their own power and enrichment.

Will Trump change the spots on his skin and become a real advocate for the working class and the poor (many of whom are his beloved 'veterans')?  Hard to imagine.  But by now we should all know that only when the people get organized can we really protect our own interests against those who wish to rape and pillage our Mother Earth for their private gain.

It's kind of ironic that the biggest issue drawing progressive support across the nation these days is the Native American protests against the oil pipeline at Standing Rock in North Dakota.  Hopefully we'll all learn something from the people who have been under attack by the Great White Father in Washington for the past couple hundred years.

The indigenous people understand that no politician will bail us out as our compromised nation collapses.  Only a good relationship with our Mother Earth will allow the future generations to survive.

Bruce

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

$elling Weapons - $elling Our Souls


Shadow World from TriCoast Studios on Vimeo.

Based on the book of The Shadow World, this feature length documentary is an investigation into the multi-billion dollar international arms trade.

Talking About Syria



I like this guy - Jimmy Dore.  He does a good job in his news videos.

Here he talks about the real reasons why the US wants to topple the Syrian government.

He reviews the role of the Qatar-Turkey pipeline as the trigger for war in Syria.

Worth watching.

Bruce

Learn With Our Own Eyes



A young man from Finland is now in eastern Ukraine reporting on the still on-going US-NATO war against the citizens of the region (Donbass).

The big question is once Hillary Clinton is selected to run the declining American empire what will the US do about the military stalemate now in eastern Ukraine?

As we know the US has been using the war in Ukraine to destabilize and demonize Russia.  There is no doubt in my mind that Clinton intends to intensify this dynamic so one would expect to see an escalation of the US backed Kiev regime's attacks on the Russian speaking citizens of eastern Ukraine.

The Finnish man says, near the end of the video, that the mainstream media in his country misleads about Russia and the Ukraine situation but he says people are beginning to open their minds and see that not all they are told is the truth.  That is a good sign.

Bruce

Monday, November 07, 2016

The Work of Rob Shetterly



It was a surprise to get an email yesterday from our friend Pat Wheeler who lives on Deer Isle, Maine.  She sent photos along from an exhibition at the Reversing Falls Sanctuary in nearby Brooksville where Maine artist and activist Rob Shetterly was showing some of his work from the series called Americans Who Tell the Truth.

During the Iraq war Rob became so frustrated with the American 'shock and awe' attack that he had to find a positive way to express his outrage.  So he began painting Americans with words from each of them etched into the paintings.  He now has painted more than 200 portraits and tours the country speaking at churches, galleries and schools about the lessons he has learned from the portrait making process.

Rob began with famous people like Abe Lincoln and Mark Twain but as time went on he began to paint portraits of people who are actively engaged in various movements today.  Thus he helps carry these voices to the public around the nation and the world.

Rob recently joined the Maine Peace Walk on our last day from York to the Kittery Naval shipyard.

It was a real honor years ago when Rob asked if he could paint my portrait as part of his series.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

More of Pilger Interview with Assange



Whistleblower Julian Assange has given one of his most incendiary interviews ever in a John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films, in which he summarizes what can be gleaned from the tens of thousands of Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks this year.

Sunday Song




Deep Inside the Clinton War Room



With the Wikileaks release of thousands of emails belonging to John Podesta, very little is known in US society about Podesta himself. While he’s maintained a low profile, John Podesta is actually considered one of Washington’s biggest players, and one of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in the world.

In this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin explores John Podesta’s political rise, his vast network of corporate connections and his think tank "Center for American Progress." Learn why the Podestas and the Clintons are a match made in ruling class heaven.